AFC Rumors: Browns, Chargers, Raiders

     

Browns

Cleveland wasn’t initially seen as a prime suitor for TE Austin Hooper, but given the importance of the tight end position in new HC Kevin Stefanski‘s offense, the Browns made pairing him with TE David Njoku a priority. For Hooper, joining Njoku was also a draw for him. 

“Already having David in place there, just the ability to have both of us just create some different matchup problems for the defense and especially with the two monsters Cleveland already has on the outside, the four of us out there together we’ll be hard pressed to find a defense that could play man-to-man against all four of us across the board,” Hooper said via 92.3 The Fan.

  • Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer points out that the Browns plan to use a lot of two-tight end sets going forward, meaning that the signing of Hooper is not bad news for Njoku. 
  • Cabot says Njoku is in good standing with the new regime despite a rocky 2019 season and was reassured of that before the Browns signed Hooper. 
  • Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson notes that the Browns don’t plan to ship off WR Odell Beckham in a fire sale trade. He adds things have gone well so far for both sides and Cleveland sees Beckham as a sizable, healthy asset. 

Chargers

  • According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, a Chargers team source said the availability of Panthers QB Cam Newton “makes things more interesting” at the least. 
  • Chargers RB Austin Ekeler‘s four-year, $24.5 million deal includes a $6 million signing bonus with base salaries of $1.5 million (2020), $4.25 million (2021), $5 million (2022) and $5.75 million (2023). (Aaron Wilson)
  • Both base salaries for Ekeler’s first two seasons are guaranteed, while $1.25 million of his 2022 base salary is guaranteed for injury and fully guaranteed the fifth day of the 2022 league year. Ekeler also has a $2 million roster bonus on the first day of the 2020 year, and $500,000 base escalators for rushing yards and receiving yards in 2021-23.

Raiders

  • According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, the Raiders offered CB Byron Jones more money per year, but the Dolphins won out because their offer was more front-loaded with $40 million in the first two years. 
  • The Raiders had an interest in 49ers S Jimmie Ward before he re-signed in San Francisco, per Adam Caplan.
  • The Raiders placed the original round tender on OT David Sharpe, who was drafted in the fourth round. (Ian Rapoport)
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